Prior to Fukushima, Japan generated about a quarter of its electric power from 50 nuclear power plants. Japan lies in a heavily earthquake prone area, and all of its nuclear power plants are on the coast and susceptible to earthquake originated tsunamis such as those that led to the Fukushima disaster..
Japan has just announced plans to phase out nuclear power by 2040. The announcement was made by issuing a "policy goal", which is not binding on future governments and which a new government administration could reverse.
The new energy policy aims to
- shut down reactors that are more than 40 years old,
- not issue new licenses for reactor construction
- restart existing reactors only if they pass standards issued by the new Nuclear Regulatory Agency
At this point Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium have announced that they plan to phase out nuclear power by 2022. France has announced that it plans to reduce its reliance on nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025. In contrast the United States and Canada have issued the first new licences for nuclear facilities in 30 years. However, in the U.S. a recent court decision has temporarily halted the issuance of any new licenses until the disposal of radioactive waste is resolved. Both India and China are actively investing in new technologies to expand their nuclear fleet.